Curling: Accuracy and pressure work for women

China won the Asia and Pacific women's curling title for the sixth time in the past seven years.

The Chinese team of Yan Zhou, Qingshuang Yue, Yin Liu and Bingyu Wang beat Chiaki Matsumura, Emi Shimizu, Miyo Ichikawa and Satsuki Fujisawa (Japan) 10-4 at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink.

China played steady and accurate rocks and applied pressure when it counted.

China is at its most dangerous straight after a break and it was the same yesterday when the sixth end was decisive.

The scores were level 3-3 after five ends when Japanese skip Satsuki Fujisawa bent her stone in from the right to push out China's shot rock.

The Chinese were adept at clearing the decks early to put pressure on their opponents. Yue knocked the Japanese shot rock out of the house and left the way clear for Wang to show her class.

She pushed the Japanese scoring rock out of the house with her first stone and then drew the bonus shot with her second.

China won the measure for the fourth rock and the game was virtually over.

"They started to miss rocks and we applied the pressure," Wang said. "That was the key to our win."

China led 7-3 and closed the game down after this to make it difficult for Japan to break back.

China's tactics after this were to clear the decks and restrict Japan to single shots when it had the last rock. The game ended on the eighth end when the confident Chinese added three more shots.

Coach Weidong Tan said China followed its own plan and was not sucked into following its opponent's game.

The win was a reward for Wang (28), who has been curling since 2001 and has been a member of the elite Chinese team since 2006.

Her ability to think ahead and read the game has been a feature of her ability as a skip.

Wang has now skipped China to six Asia and Pacific titles and a gold medal at the world championships in 2009.

One of her biggest thrills was to win a bronze medal at the 2010 Olympic Games.

But she is keeping her feet on the ground.

"We are not there yet. We don't have enough points and still have to qualify for the Olympics. That is our big goal."

China had a disappointing world championships in Switzerland this year and is ranked only 11th in the world.

"It's great to have qualified for the world championships," Wang said. "It gives us one more chance to get points for the Olympics."

The coach is confident his team can get enough qualifying points at the world championships in Latvia early next year to get to the Olympics.

Korea won the bronze medal when it beat Australia 9-3 in the playoff for third and fourth.


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